Child Soldiers In Africa

Widespread of Human Rights Violations

Map of Africa Shows Child Soldier and Rebels Activity (Congo Highlighted)

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

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DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo contains rich natural resources such as cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper, oil, and the three T's which stand for: tin, tungsten, and tantalum; These minerals are what allow us to live our modern lifestyles. It's used in almost all devices in our current households; Laptops, phones, hospital devices, and almost everything around us require these minerals to be made. All of this may sound good for Congo's economy and the country itself but that's not the case. These natural resources are known as conflict minerals because of all the battles fought to gain the mine sights and control over the people and land. This country has been at war with itself for decades. Many villages have been invaded and villagers have been captured for labor. They're held at gun point to do work in mines. Corruption is all over the country; bogus accounting and abuse of interest rates prevents civilians from repaying debt which forces them to work in the mines. The country has a population of 65.71 million with over 30,000 child soldiers. This is about 15-30% of all newly-recruited combatants in the DRC army. Children are being torn apart from their families by rebels. The boys are forced to become soldiers while girls are provided as wives for the new recruits. Schools have been invaded and children have been taken to be manipulated to become emotionless killing machines. These children are used to fight for the goods that the country provides so they're able to get more mine sights, weapons, drugs, and control of the country. Many efforts are being put into helping these child soldiers recover from manipulation of the armed groups. Organizations such as UNICEF, International Committee of the Red Cross and much more are working to help reintegrate child soldiers into society. Educations, vocational training and health services are being offered to these children. According to UNICEF more than 33,000 child soldiers have been demobilized in DRC since 2004.

Video about DRC Conflict Minerals

Conflict Minerals, Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo

Uganda

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Uganda

Uganda a country full of significant natural resources, fertile land, regular rainfall, mineral deposits, a population of 36.35 million people and an undetermined amount of child soldiers. These children are forced to become soldiers at the age of 7. Men and children have been abducted from their homes and force to become soldiers for the rebels, known as the Lords Resistance Army. (A tactic notoriously used by these armed groups) These child soldiers have been involved in many battles such as the Tanzania, Bus, Lord's Resistance Army Insurgency, and the ADF Insurgency. Joesph Kong, leader of the armed group has abducted more than 20,000 children, displaced one a half million civilians, and killed over 100,000 civilians during the Resistance Army Insurgency. The rehabilitate process for these kids are difficult due to the fact that they were abducted and indoctrinated at such a young age. Physical scars, drug dependencies, and desensitized to violence will be very hard to overcome. The battles fought by these child soldiers will have psychological damage for the rest of their lives. Not much can be done in fixing them psychologically but to help is provided to get them back into society. Vital education, counselling, and health services are being offered. Even after seeking help it won't be easy to return to their original lives due to complications that may occur in the community; A family member or neighbor could have been killed by the hands of the former child soldier, or because many of the girls who have babies from their time in the rebel groups will not be accepted by their family or the community.

Somalia

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Child Soldiers In Somalia

Somalia a country that had a healthy economy before the civil war. It was one of the richest country in Africa until the war that broke out in 1991. This caused the country fall into demise. This country has many natural resources such as: uranium, unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, and oil reserves. Somalia has a population of 20,2 million as of 2012 and suspected to have at least 2,000 to 3,000 child soldiers. The rebel group in Somalia is known as Al-Shabaab, who are responsible for putting children in the line of fire, killing and maiming them in the context of armed conflict. Children under the age of 15 which is a big war crime, and a violation of international law. Recruitment of child soldiers in this country and all over Africa has become more widespread and systematic. The government is also involved in recruitment of child soldiers. Some children are being volunteered by their parents due to extreme poverty and hunger, while other children will volunteer to join to avenge a family members death. DDR (Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration) programs are being offered to the ones who've been freed from these armed groups. This program focuses mainly on boys.

Map with statistics of Food Shortages & Displaced Civilians in Somalia

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